Bile reflux, post Ivor Lewis

I'm 3.5 yrs post I L and doing very well, so much so that I sometimes forget myself and over indulge late in the day, this sometimes results in a bile reflux while I'm asleep usually about five o'clock in the morning( I've slipped down the bed by then). These episodes are nowhere near as nasty as they were to start with, but as some of you know are very unpleasant, my question is has anyone found anything to take to releave the discomfort ( like bi carbonate of soda does with acid reflux) when it does happen, instead of having to wait an hour or so for the body to sort it out naturally . P S in case anyone is wondering this, in my case is not alcohol related.

Thanks in advance for your advice, MICK

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12 Replies

  • My experience is when it happens to me you just have to get up and sit and wait. I also drink water and that seems to help.

    The only thing that helps is prevention and that means not eating to late making sure you are fully supported in bed and in my case not turning from side to side in bed.It's also important that you are taking medication that helps control the amount of acid that you produce


  • Hi all I do the same drink water and also have a packet of polo mints at the side of your bed, then wait for the nasty stuff to cough up but also found a little sore around the chest area afterwards.


  • Peppermint or ginger tea works for me; but I have now been bile-free since March (had an Ivor Lewis a year ago next week) since receiving acupuncture treatment, despite often awakening flat, my pillows having collapsed in the night...

  • I am now able to lie flat.. This is due to drinking Apple juice about 15 min after eating. I then wait until the sickness and pain start. I then make myself sick. All that comes up is a small amount of bile.. The pain and sickness go immediately. And I can then go to bed and sleep flat. If I don't do this. When I go to bed. About an hour after falling asleep I wake up choking on bile and have to get up and I am sick for a couple of hours and bring up about 750 ml. Including the food. What is happening is the food trying to get down the intestine forces the bile up and it floats above the food and burns the site of the joining. So making yourself reject the bile as soon as it rises to the top stops the damage and removes the bile allowing you to sleep. The Apple juice kills the bad taste and helps neutralise the alkali of the bile. It works for me. Good luck

  • Hi Mentalmicky6

    Six months ago I started taking Gaviscon advance at bedtime the dose is 2x5ml but I take 2x10 I don't know if it was bile reflux or acid reflux I used to get all I know is it would strip paint from a car and tasted vile. The Gaviscon forms a blanket on whatever is in your stomach and although I have had episodes at say 5am where it feels like its going to happen the gaviscon seems to do the trick, sometimes I take another spoonful just to be on the safeside. Since I started doing this I have never had any reflux come up. I hope this is of some help.

  • Gaviscon should indeed work against either acid or alkali (bile). If it is temporary problems at night like this, it may do the trick. If bile is more of a problem, something like cholestyramine might help.

  • Gaviscon advance

    works a treat for me , a generous teaspoon before bed and all is fine ,, you can get this on prescription have a word with your GP

  • Phil's comment makes total sense ... Though I do not take medication I just don't eat less than two hours before bed. Bile / acid reflux is indescribably horrid. I get up and make a cup of tea, and have sugar free boiled sweets from Aldi! These have a great flavour are fruity and strong and really help mask the dreadful taste.

  • I have a small bottle of drinking yoghurt half an hour before bed [was advised by a pharmacist] and then when I go to be a swig of Gaviscon liquid to act as a raft against the cursed bile. This has reduced my bile attacks greatly.

  • Hi people, dose alcohol increase or decrease your bile, I mean I drink two or three pints of Guinness after tea , but bile comes only every 2 to 3 weeks . Is drinking a bad thing ?

  • I drink Guinness in the evening but there is always food involved when I have bile reflux,

    Guinness Without snacking = no reflux

    I've found the worst scenario is a few drinks and a curry which makes sense because the experts say bile production is triggered to deal with fatty foods

  • The problem with bile reflux in my case twice this year when I've had what I would call only mild episodes , I've damaged my airways and it's triggered bronchitis , so avoid it at all costs

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